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Aunt Jemima – She’s Not Just For Pancakes Anymore!


By Gini Rainey

Growing up in a small, north-western town in Minnesota wasn’t as bad as you might imagine.  Sure, Moorhead has the distinction of being right across the river from the third coldest city (Fargo) in the United States (which pretty much tells you just how cold it is in Moorhead!) and winters can seem to last forever, but when the sun comes out, so do the people.  I remember my childhood being filled with lots of parades, fireworks displays, trips to the lakes, and fun events such as Greater Moorhead Days.  The earliest reference I can find for Greater Moorhead Days is 1957, and according to Dewey Bergquist, a long-time air personality in the area, “I don’t recall ever seeing a community with so much good natured get-together spirit as Greater Moorhead Days generated.”

GMD had parades, city-wide treasure hunts, and a fun-filled Saturday that boasted live entertainment, prize drawings, and an all-you-could-eat pancake breakfast with Aunt Jemima herself flipping the pancakes!  This extravaganza was always held in the Moorhead Armory which was built as a federal depression relief project in 1934 on 5th Street, just about 6 blocks from where I lived.  Another distinction for the Armory is that it was the venue that Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper were to perform at the evening of their deaths in a plane crash, February 3, 1959.

So, I think it might have been the GMD of 1962 that I decided I would walk over to the Armory, eat some pancakes, and maybe win a prize – and win I did!  I won a bushel basket filled with groceries and an aluminum step ladder that I still have.  But, I’m here to tell you that walk home seemed more like a mile or two with the step ladder hooked over my shoulder and my arms getting longer by the minute carrying that basket – but I was a winner!

(Segue) I have a cute little “Morning to Midnight Cook Book: 340 Unexpected Treats from Aunt Jemima” sitting here in front of me! Published by Follett Publishing Company in 1969, it’s interesting to note that not all of the recipes use Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix, as you might be expecting.  If you’re like me, you weren’t aware that Aunt Jemima, Flako Pie Crust, and Quaker Oats are all owned by the same company, so that definitely broadens the variety of ingredients used in this book.

Let me share with you an unexpected use for Aunt Jemima Syrup – a recipe for Chinese Barbecued Spareribs.  Using 4 pounds of lean, separated spareribs, rinse in boiling water and place in a shallow roasting pan with meaty side up and bake in a 450° oven about 30 minutes until browned.  Remove the drippings and combine ½ cup chili sauce, 1 cup vinegar, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 tablespoon instant minced onion, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ cup soy sauce, and ¼ cup Aunt Jemima Syrup in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil and pour over the spareribs.  Reduce the oven temperature to 350° and continue baking 30-45 minutes longer, basting occasionally with the sauce.  Serve with plenty of napkins – and oh my, this is some mighty fine eating.


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April 5th-7th: Smith County Medical Society Alliance Book Fair

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Smith County Medical Society Alliance Book Fair:

Thursday-Saturday, April 5th-7th

The annual Book Fair, the primary fundraiser, began in 1968. A spring and fall sale event, each consisting of a three day sale, gives 75% of net proceeds funds to health career scholarships at Tyler Junior College and the University of Texas at Tyler.

The Smith County Medical Society Alliance Book Fair will be held at 2004 Broussard St., Tyler. The book fair will be held April 5th-7th, 8am-6pm. Only cash and checks are accepted.

“The community looks forward to our sales and anticipates all the great ‘deals’ and wonderful books they will purchase. We have shoppers from all around the state. We enjoy greeting our seasoned shoppers and meeting new ones as they line up early Thursday morning in anticipation to opening,” said Kelly Michaels, current President of SCMSA.

She continues, “‘Achieving Dreams’ a group of exceptional young adults volunteer every Monday to sort, shelve books, clean, and help with other various jobs. The “Achievers” love working at the Book Fair and show us the meaning of giving back to the community. They are a huge part of Book Fair success.”

Now, shoppers have a nicer shopping experience with more room to roam and more books to choose from. There are books for everyone! There are children’s books, collector’s books, cookbooks, new releases, coffee table books, fiction, non-fiction, hobbies and “How To” books, autobiography and biography, sports, religion, self-help, romance, travel, children’s, gardening, history, and much more.

If you would like to donate books, please drop them off at the book shelves outside in the front of the building. Donations can be made any day, at any time. Donated books are brought in daily. For a donation receipt, please leave your name and address information with your donation or call (903)561-1353 to schedule a drop-off.

For additional information visit or call Book Fair at (903)561-1353.

We also take monetary donations. If you would like to donate to Book Fair, please see the Donations page at This is a wonderful way to honor or remember a friend or loved one and to further health care education.

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March 2018: Book Worm Events!

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March 23rd (3-5:30pm) – Meet Local Author Alma Ravenell  and discuss her book “Our Baby.” The Tyler Public Library is located at 201 S. College Ave., Tyler. Most events hosted by Club Reads are free. The Library is open Monday-Thursday 10am-7pm, Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 10am-5pm, and Sunday 1-5pm. For more info call (903)593-7323 or go to

March 27th (10am) – Club Read – Join the Club Read group in discussing this month’s read, “Manhattan Beach” by Jennifer Egan. The Tyler Public Library is located at 201 S. College Ave., Tyler. Most events hosted by Club Reads are free. The Library is open Monday-Thursday 10am-7pm, Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 10am-5pm, and Sunday 1-5pm. For more info call (903)593-7323 or go to

April 5th-7th (8am-6pm) – Book Fair – This year’s event focuses on the sale of donated books which will go to endowed scholarships for nursing and healthcare at TJC and UT-T and for community health projects. Thousand of books will be available for purchase. This is held at SCMSA, 2004 Broussard St., Tyler.

August 4th (1-5pm) – Book Bash will be held at Harvey Hall Convention Center, 2000 W. Front St., Tyler. They are doubling the authors for 2018’s Book Bash! Tickets will be on sale until the day of the event. Come on out and find a new favorite author as well as meet the authors behind the stories. For more info go to Tickets are $12.

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Spring Programs at the Library


Spring Programs at the Library

The Tyler Public Library is located at 201 S. College Ave., Tyler. Most events are free. For more info call (903)593-7323 or go to


All storytimes will be in Taylor Auditorium. Storytimes will not meet the week of Spring Break, March 12th-16th.

  • Leeme un Cuento/Read to Me Storytime (children 3-6 years old), Mondays at 10:30am
  • Lap & Play Time (babies up to 18 months) features stories, songs, and playtime with developmental toys at 9:30am every Wednesday
  • Toddler Explore Storytime (children under age 3) is on Wednesdays at 10:30am
  • Read Aloud Crowd Storytime (children 3-6 years old), Thursdays at 10:30am

March 3rd (2-4pm) – LEGO® Block Party – Children ages 3 and up, bring your imagination for an afternoon of building and playing! LEGO® and Duplo Blocks are provided.

March 10th and 24th (2-4pm) – Makerspace – This continuing STEM education for children and teens will feature March 10th, Multiplication Bingo; and March 24th, Cardboard Challenge. This will be held in the Library Treehouse.

Spring Break: March 12th-March 16th (10:30am) – Spring Break Movie Matinees – Families are invited to watch a fun feature length films in the library’s auditorium. A different movie will be shown each day. Pillows, blankets, and carpet friendly snacks welcome.


Every Tuesday (4:30-5:30pm) – Teen Tuesdays – If you are in Middle School or High School you’re in! The Library will have games, activities, and fun just for teens. Earn volunteer hours completing special projects. Descriptions for weekly activities can be found at Events are:

  • March 6th: Silent Library Games
  • March 13th: Movie
  • March 20th: Whose Line? Improv Games
  • March 27th: “And Scene!” Reader’s Theater

March 3rd (11:30am-1:30pm) – Tips and Tricks for Dog Owners – Pick up tips and tricks for handling your dog from Certified American Kennel Club Evaluator, Judy Parson. No pets in the Library.

March 7th (12 noon) – Great Decisions is a foreign policy lecture series. Books are available for $22 at the circulation desk. The March topic and speaker is “China and American: The New Geopolitical Equation,” Dr. Robert Sterken.

March 9th (11:30am) – “Raised Bed Gardening on a Hillside” with Wayne Elliot will be presented as part of the Smith County Master Gardener Series. Free to attend.

March 15th (5pm) – Reel Talk – This event is like a book-club, but for movies! Free to attend.

March 23rd (3-5:30pm) – Meet Local Author Alma Ravenell and discuss her book “Our Baby.”

March 2nd and 16th (1-3pm) – Veteran’s Movie – Join this biweekly screening of movies presented especially for veterans. This free event is held the first and third Friday every month.

March 27th (10am) – Club Read – Join the Club Read group in discussing this month’s read, “Manhattan Beach” by Jennifer Egan.

Every Tuesday (10am-1pm) – Quilting Class – Learn the art of quilting at the Library. Fabric and quilt patterns will be provided. Participants are asked to provide their own sewing machines, if you have them, plus scissors, and neutral or white thread. For details and a complete list of supplies please contact the Library’s information desk.

Every Tuesday (5:30-6:30pm) – Evening Meditation – Learn the practice of Heartfulness Meditation with Gayathri Kambhampati.

Every Wednesday (5:30pm) – Gentle Yoga – This gentle yoga class will be taught by Meagan Vrba who is certified in yoga, CPR, and first aid.

Every Saturday (11am-12 noon) – Crochet Classes will be held in the 3rd floor Internet Center Workroom. These are free classes. Learn to crochet with Library staff and volunteers. All materials are provided. All experience levels are welcome.

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